Bennett “Ben” Willeford, of Lewisburg, died Sept. 22.
Born in 1921 in Greenville, S.C., he attended Emory University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a professor of chemistry at Bucknell from 1950 until his retirement in 1984. Following his retirement, he taught for nine more years at schools in the U.S., including Earlham College and Baylor University, as well as schools in Germany, India and Liberia.
He was a founder and active member of organizations advocating for peace and social justice, including civil rights groups, nonviolence movements and activism against the Vietnam and Iraq wars. As a professor he urged his colleagues to refuse research funding from sources tied to the military-industrial complex, and he was a regular visitor to individuals incarcerated at prisons around Lewisburg. A Baptist, he was also a member of interfaith religious organizations at Bucknell and in Lewisburg.